Judges were unanimous in their decision to award Frizzell’s Smart Paddock Weigher the 2021 Agri-Innovation award at the South Island Agricultural Field Days in Kirwee.
The three-person panel of industry experts were extremely impressed by the new technology which allows farmers to weigh young livestock in the paddock, therefore offering the possibility to better manage the individual needs of the animal.
“Whenever you’re taking animals away from the paddock, they’re not doing what you need them to do, which is grow, however with the Frizzell’s Smart Paddock Weigher right there in the paddock, the animals continue to put on weight in a relatively stress-free manor, whilst the farmer is able to gain all the information they need.” Said judge Neil Baxter.
“Rather than treat all animals as the same, this allows you to offer individual solutions to a herd.”
“Farmers can find that significant labour is required to move stock to a weighing area to weigh stock manually and because of the time and cost involved animals are never really weighed at optimal times which results in a loss of production, delayed notifications of diseases or poor pasture management decision making, so we’re hoping to counter all of those with the Smart Paddock Weigher,” said product designer Alistair Frizzell.
The towable unmanned scales entice livestock onto the platform with the promise of grain and nuts by way of an automated feeder. It then reads the RFID tag and records the animals weigh and monitors the herd weight performance.
Animals can visit anytime but will only be permitted a predetermined rate of feed during any 24-hour period.
“There’s no doubt this product can have a positive impact on the animal’s health and well-being as well as labour and cost saving for the farmer,” said Baxter.
STOCK EZY’s flow control gate picked up the runners up award, after developing a real ‘Kiwi number eight wire’ solution to the bottle neck often experienced in sheep yards.
Sean Belkin designed the Flow Gate Control after being frustrated whilst drafting livestock and battling with stock in an effort to keep them flowing consistently. He remembers experiencing the same issue 40 years ago as a youngster so decided to try and find a solution.